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A nation dumbed down? DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 06/17/2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

A nation dumbed down?

Herman Tiu Laurel
Over the past week a systematic campaign of misinformation was being waged with few, if any, noticing it. This is regarding the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)’s decision on Manila Electric Co. (Meralco)’s petition for PBR (Performance Based Rate) for the regulatory period from this year to 2014. The report in almost all mainstream newspapers is that the ERC denied the increase Meralco sought and reduced the rate by passing a lower PBR. The truth is, it’s a collusion of the ERC and Meralco in a gigantic sleight-of-hand to hoodwink the millions of Meralco consumers and the public. During the first week of June, ERC announced its denial of Meralco’s 2011 PBR application of 1.70/kWh, setting it at P 1.58/kWh which it boasts to be lower than the 2010 PBR of P 1.65/KWh. It looks so nice for the ERC until one takes a comprehensive historical look and find that under the original RoRB (return-on-rate base, 12 percent allowable profit) the rate was only P 0.70/kWh — since the PBR rate of 15.8 percent this has more than doubled.

That is only half the story, senior consumer advocate Genaro “Naro” Lualhati (who was among those who won consumers its first refund of P 30 billion) has investigated the cost computations of Meralco for its capex (capital expenditure) and has found it bloated by 37 times. His findings are corroborated by Mr. Jojo Borja who has produced documents showing the massive overpricing and transfer pricing of Meralco power generation equipment, which has been presented before ERC hearings but are not reflected by the ERC final determination of the PBR rates. Mr. Naro Lualhati’s own computation shows that the proper Meralco rate for this period should only be at the maximum of P0.90/kWh. Meralco has been putting out its song-and-dance about how it needs to tighten its belt due to ERC’s reduction of its rate and mainstream media has been pandering distorted story and dumbing down the public; the truth is that Meralco is continuing its power plunder of the people.

On the matter of the Stradcom deal that’s bedeviling the BSA III administration and inflicting its damage on the public coffers and transport regulatory system, we have here a perfect example of the idiocy of subcontracting such essential government functions to private corporations. The computerization of the LTO records does not require a complicated computer system, there’s no rocket science to it. Why is government shelling out P140 million a month for this very basic computer system? It’s been going on for several years now that the amounts have reached staggering billions of pesos that two factions of the subcontracting company are now fighting over — and getting the BSA III embroiled in its dirty quagmire. So much for Teddy Locsin’s talk and Conrado de Quiros’ about BSA III’s personal “honesty,” he is drenching in the corruption all around him; besides the fact that he is wallowing in the corruption of his family which even stoops to collecting illegal toll fees on public roads.

What the public isn’t being told is that the subcontracting of that computerization of the LTO functions should never have happened. It shouldn’t have happened in the same way that the computerization of other institutions like the GSIS, which has been experiencing endless glitches, shouldn’t have happened. Information systems of government are crucial to national security as well.

The basic outrage in all this, however, is the huge amounts paid to the private subcontractors that further deplete the national coffers and the public’s purse. Then the public gets to learn that in this case, Stradcom gets twice more that the LTO from the fees the public pays. It is no surprise, too, that political strings were pulled for the awarding of the contract. Why do we allow this to happen?

Now comes the hare-brained idea from the Gloria Arroyo’s special economic adviser upon whose advice the Philippine hunger incidence spiked from 2003 to the present. Albay Gov. Joey Salceda earns political grandstanding points by riding the patriotic tide over the Spratly’s issue and suggesting a boycott of Chinese imports. This one time a gofer of the securities section of an international bank is suddenly a celebrated economist? Salceda cited RP’s trade deficit of $1 billion with China in 2010, but he forgets that it was a surplus of $750 million in 2005; trade seesaws and with the future mineral demand of China will tilt the balance in favor of the Philippines again. Imagine the massive inflation push when Chinese products stop flowing, from DVD players to garlic. Now, if the Philippines is ready to subsidize its agro-industrial entrepreneurs again we have a fighting chance; but with Salceda’s love of “globalization” (duh?) a boycott and out economy would be doomed.

A balanced view of the Spratlys issue comes from Sen. Antonio Trillanes who, over merienda with two ambassadors, said that there are “hawks” as well as “doves” in the Chinese government and one must deal with the controversies with this in mind; while asserting the Philipines’ rights vigorously. I added that while there is psychological warfare underway (Vietnam is rumored to be calling for conscription of tis citizens to prepare for war), there are sufficient formal agreements on the negotiated settlement of issues and sharing of resources to ensure an amicable conclusion in the coming times. Trillanes did give a caveat, that the Chinese should be careful not to put too much “face,” i.e. its prestige, on the line with the “hawks” or it may lead to uncontrollable events. As for Salceda’s boycott, I told others that we never heard him support the “Buy Filipino” call we issue every year of the past two decades.

(Tune in to Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, topic: ”GSIS Union victory vs. Winston’s outrages”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for articles, TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110617com5.html

Guilt by association EDITORIAL 06/17/2011

Guilt by association

Click to enlarge
The circumstances behind the filing of charges against State Prosecutor Wendell Sulit does not appear to be a clear-cut case of an official violating or abusing the law, but as Noynoy and his allies had already prejudged those whom they see as being identified with the previous administration, they are deemed guilty, merely on the basis of guilt by association. And as Malacañang wanted her suspended, so she has been suspended.

Earlier, Noynoy also made it clear that he wanted deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez fired, to the point of making him the principal accused in having botched the August rescue operations which left eight Hong Kong tourists dead, yet when it came to his shooting buddy, DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno, who was in charge of the Philippine National Police team that was involved in the hostage rescue, he was absolved, along with other Noynoy allies..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110617com1.html

Noynoy, proven KKK coddler FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/17/2011

Noynoy, proven KKK coddler

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
For all of Noynoy and his spokesmen’s denials on the reasons for the resignation of Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Ping de Jesus attached to the Noynoy’s coddling of his shooting buddy, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Virginia Torres, the truth is certainly baring itself.

A report stated that Ping submitted a memorandum as early as April 6 to Noynoy through Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa, asking Noynoy to discipline Torres, but which was ignored by Noynoy.

The report quoted the memo as saying: “We respectfully request His Excellency, President Benigno Aquino III, to exercise his disciplinary power against Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres, chief of Land Transportation Office, for gross neglect of duty and gross insubordination for her continued refusal to perform official duties and obey as well as implement lawful orders from her superiors.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110617com2.html

Hung-over NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 06/17/2011


Armida Siguion-Reyna
And this, I suppose, is the kindest that some say behind my back, soon after I’d leave a cluster where I talk much about the one-month road show tour we did in the US, “Aawitan Kita sa Amerika.” But you needn’t worry, I have no plans of boring you about the singing that we did, column in, and column out. This, too, shall pass, although as I write, negotiations are going on for six shows in Australia and three in New Zealand, before the year ends.

This will be the last reference here to the tour — until the next foreign performances come in — so thanks again, to my two unnamed angels. My brother, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile. Vice President Jojo Binay. Sen. Chiz Escudero. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor). The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Philippine Airlines (PAL). MyPhone. San Miguel Corp. PureGold. And Terminal Container Terminal Services Inc.

As I wrap up, allow me still to say that it’s been amazing. We continue to get e-mail and Facebook messages from people who saw it in any of the 12 shows that we did, in nine states: Two in Washington (Vancouver on April 29, and Seattle on May 21); one each in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, and three in California, from April 29, to May 29..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110617com4.html

Cheap and ill-advised C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 06/17/2011

Cheap and ill-advised

Jonathan De la Cruz
It is good that Albay Gov. Joey Salceda’s call for the boycott of Chinese products turned out to be a dud. Except for some noise coming from people who should know better, no other self-respecting leader, in and out of government, came out in support of Salceda’s cheap shot. Even the usually anti-Chinese voices from some Makati-based quarters did not join the chorus. Best of all, Palace spokesmen managed to restrain themselves in time before getting sucked into this comical acid mouthed exercise from someone who reportedly has some fascination for things Chinese. But P-Noy’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda should have openly rebuked Salceda for such infantile antics instead of babying him with that wishy washy “he-has-the-right-to-say-whatever-he-wants” line. No, Sir. Malacañang should be the first to advise one and all that the Spratlys issue is of such critical importance we should not trivialize it with uninformed and knee-jerk reactions. Stoking the fires, as it were, can only bring us closer to a situation we can only regret getting into sooner than we can say stop or did not mean to. If all that we wanted is to bring the matter of China’s “hostile and provocative statements” and “muscle flexing” to the glare of international attention I believe we have done more than necessary..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110617com6.html

Noy to House: Stop probe of my KKKs By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Charlie V. Manalo 06/17/2011


Noy to House: Stop probe of my KKKs

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Charlie V. Manalo 06/17/2011

Fearing a congressional investigation of the presidential KKKs, President Aquino yesterday again meddled in the affairs of the House of Representatives as he gave his marching orders to congressmen to stop any and all congressional investigations of his Kaibigan, Kaklase and Kabarilan.

This presidential marching order to his allies in the House, who are in the majority, was announced by his spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, in reaction to the members of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives that yesterday filed a resolution seeking an inquiry in aid of legislation into the failure or desistance from imposing discipline, suspension or dismissal of errant Cabinet members, more common;y referred to as Aquino’s infamous KKKs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110617hed1.html

Lacson still in Dacer DoJ probe; Justice chief faces rough sailing at CA By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 06/17/2011

Lacson still in Dacer DoJ probe; Justice chief faces rough sailing at CA

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 06/17/2011

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson will be covered by the reinvestigation of her department into the kilings of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000.

According to her, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) “ultimately opted for a reinvestigation of the Dacer-Corbito double murder case as it would come across all things, including the mastermind” and that would start immediately upon arrival of former police Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino from the United States.

“The reinvestigation will cover everybody,” she stressed.

And in case a new witness or evidence surfaces and points to Lacson, the senator could again be charged for the crime without violation of double jeopardy rule since he was not arraigned in the first case that was dismissed by the Court of Appeals earlier this year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110617hed4.html

Noynoy, Hataman deny endorsement for ARMM OIC By Gerry Baldo and Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/17/2011

Noynoy, Hataman deny endorsement for ARMM OIC

By Gerry Baldo and Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/17/2011

Malacañang yesterday denied that President Aquino was endorsing former party-list Rep. Mujiv Hataman as officer-in-charge (OIC) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) shortly after the Chief Executive gets to sign the bill which sought for the cancellation of its scheduled elections into law.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning (PCDSP) Secretary Ricky Carandang told reporters that all the names being floated as potential OICs for the ARMM are speculative at this point since the bill is yet to reach Aquino’s desk in the first place.

Carandang underscored that no less Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs pointed out that there are processes to be undertaken before a particular individual could be placed under Aquino’s radar screen as possible caretaker-leaders in the ARMM government..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110617nat7.html

GMA hospitalized for pinched nerve 06/17/2011

GMA hospitalized for pinched nerve

Former President, now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo was admitted yesterday to the St. Luke’s Medical Center after she was diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy or pinched nerve.

Arroyo was rushed to the hospital early morning after she complained of severe neck pains.

The former President was first attended to by Dr. Juliet Cervantes and was later referred to Dr. Mario Ver.
 ..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110617nat3.html

QC schools with few enrollees to accept students from over-populated ones By Arlie O. Calalo 06/17/2011

QC schools with few enrollees to accept students from over-populated ones

By Arlie O. Calalo 06/17/2011

The Quezon City government is considering a proposal of local education officials to put into use schools with decreasing enrollment by accommodating students from overpopulated schools in the city.

Most notable among QC schools registering a decrease in enrollment include Kalantiyaw Elementary School, Camarilla Elementary School, P. Tuazon Elementary, Malaya Elementary School and Fort Aguinaldo Elementary School.

Other schools located in Districts III and IV where the city government was able to achieve an ideal classroom-student ratio of 1:45 are also more likely to absorb the excess enrollees from Area 7 in District 2.

Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista said his administration is contemplating on adopting the suggestions of city school officials in a determined effort to maximize the use of schools and at the same time unburden the load of other schools which have found to be already over-populated..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110617met4.html

Court sentences to life imprisonment 7 Chinese for kidnap of rich Chinoy By Pat C. Santos 06/17/2011

Court sentences to life imprisonment 7 Chinese for kidnap of rich Chinoy

By Pat C. Santos 06/17/2011
A Manila court yesterday sentenced seven Chinese to life imprisonment for kidnapping-for-ransom Jacky Rowena Tiu in San Fernando, La Union on Sept. 27, 2001.

In a 38-page decision, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 52 Presiding Judge Antonio Rosales sentenced Shi Jian Hui alias Jacky Sy King, Lim Jian Feng alias Jason Lim, Xu You Kwang alias Johnny Co, Wu Chang Shi Chun Qi alias Jacky Sy Ocampo and Zhang Xi Wang alias Michael Zhang to life imprisonment without benefit of parole, while Zhang Du alias Wilson Chang was charged as accessory in the crime of kidnapping for ransom and sentenced to a minimum of six years to a maximum of eight years and one day.

Another accused, Henry Ong, who is still at large, was ordered arrested trough a warrant issued by the judge..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110617met2.html

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